Eye watering fines for Go Ahead and Dublin Bus underscore systemic service failures

08 November 2022

Labour spokesperson for Transport, Duncan Smith has today (Tuesday 8th November) described the fines imposed by the National Transport Authority (NTA) on Go Ahead and Dublin as eye-watering and said the fines underscore systemic failures across the public transport system.

In response to questioning from Deputy Smith at the Oireachtas Transport Committee the NTA confirmed that Dublin Bus has been fined €1.5 million and Go Ahead have been fined €885,000 for failing to meet route and timetable targets.

Deputy Smith said: “These figures are particularly large for Go Ahead which operated 30 routes, compared to the 130 routes operated by Dublin Bus. The service providers admitted that 2022 has been an exceptional year for failing to meet targets.”

“This will come as no surprise to commuters across Dublin who have been experiencing poor service, including buses not turning up, cancelled services and inconsistent real time passenger information through Apps and Bus Stop signs. Both Dublin Bus and Go Ahead have stated that driver recruitment and retention is at the core of their failures in meeting targets this year and both have stated that new driving staff are in the pipeline.”

“Dublin Bus, Go Ahead and the National Transport Authority (NTA) have all acknowledged that public transport services have fallen well below acceptable levels. We need to see faster recruitment of bus drivers across all services. We cannot tolerate a situation where we are looking to cut down emissions on one hand and not provide adequate public transport services on the other. Priority must be given to recruit and retain bus drivers across the service. Bus services are the lifeblood of our public transport system. When it breaks down, people miss health appointments, are late for work, late for school and college. If service is not improved drastically, then the NTA must look at sustainable measures beyond fines such as contract non-renewal.”

He added: “This is a major issue for me, our Labour Party Councillors in the city and Local Area Reps such as Corina Johnston in Fingal and Ian McGahon in North Wicklow. This was evidenced today by such widespread interest from other TDs who are not regular members of the Transport Committee.”

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